Friday Forum: It's this thing again!
Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:40am

We're back! Well, it's quiet, I figured the place needed some pepping up. (Not sure whether it's more depressing to imagine bustling conversation in the Discord, or to imagine it's all gone silent over there too...)

As always when discussing the news, please remember that not everyone will agree with you. You're free to state, discuss, and defend your viewpoint (provided it does not violate the Constitution), but please don't use that fact to attack others.

Fandom News

A new World of Warcraft NPC

As we all know, Stan Lee died late last year, putting an end to a career that most people thought of as a continuous string of cameos. Except it didn't put an end to it, because the next World of Warcraft patch includes one.

'Stanley', an elderly man with a very familiar looking face, apparently wanders around the Keep in Stormwind City - and yes, on entering the throne room, he reportedly exclaims "Excelsior!" So that's adorably silly.

Old News

Marguerite Perey

80 years ago on Wednesday, Marguerite Perey, French chemist/physicist and protege of Marie Curie herself, discovered a new element. Realising that the reported radiation emitted by actinium didn't make a lot of sense, she purified some for herself (from samples of lanthanum, which she may have purified from uranium ore...) and did an intensive study of its decay. She realised that the reported radiation was actually from actinium's decay product, a brand new element she named francium (after, y'know, France).

She went on to become the first woman elected to the French Academy of Sciences... and then died of cancer in 1975, because working with radioactive elements is seriously bad for your health.

New News

Images from Ultima Thule: Colour & 3D

On January 1st, New Horizons - the probe that discovered the heart on Pluto back in 2015 - performed its second close flyby, of a Kupier belt object named (486958) 2014 MU69, and nicknamed Ultima Thule. This is the furthest object ever visited by a spaceship, and due to being out in the cold dark outer solar system, is basically unchanged since the solar system formed.

Ultima turned out to be a reddish contact binary - two objects which fell gently against each other and stuck like that. Comparisons with snowmen and BB-8 have done the rounds, though the best response was Mira McKinnon on Twitter: "MU69 is Moo, our little space-cow".

We should be seeing more results out of Ultima Moo soon - there's been a brief break as New Horizons swung behind the sun, but we'll be back on track soon.

PPC News

A conference for course coordinators and other non-canonical management of OFUs, held yesterday in the Small Auditorium at PPC HQ, had to be postponed indefinitely after a fire broke out in the room. Reports - by which we mean a hassled-looking Dr. Huinesoron of OFUDisc - say that a friendly competition between OFUM's mini-Balrogs and OFUN's mini-Dragons got out of hand, possibly with intervention from OFUO's mini-Furies.

Reports that agents residing on the floor above the auditorium are trapped in their missions until DoSAT can be bothered to fix their consoles should definitely be ignored.

Non News

The Holy Order of the Bumblebee

Nesh has already seen this one, but I don't think anyone else has... a party of four clerics. What could go wrong?

The Order are actually parodies of Kaitlyn at different stages of her life, from 'scary-smart kid', past 'rebellious teenager', through 'hassled manager', up to 'bone-weary student'. There's at least one more picture in the works, but no story other than what you see in the image.


    • So apparently you can beat nocopy with reader viewCringe-Factoryy, Sun Jan 13 7:43pm
      If you use Safari on a mobile device, then up on the search bar, left to the website’s name (or maybe it says “reader view available”, depends), there should be four lines that you can click for the... more
    • Wiki news!Neshomeh, Sat Jan 12 2:24pm
      And thank you, hS, for the perfect place to put this thing I was debating about posting. ^_^ So, first, I was taken by the whim to do an external links search for all Freewebs URLs and change them to ... more
      • Amazing.Huinesoron, Sun Jan 13 5:17am
        I don't remember how it looked before, but it looks really good now. ^_^ In this particular context, I'm not sure we really needed both versions of the patch (and I'd be happy to have mine dropped),... more
        • Yay!Neshomeh, Mon Jan 14 4:57pm
          To be fair, it wasn't awful before—there were references, courtesy of HG (and thank you!), but they needed proper formatting. Otherwise it was kinda disorganized and sketched in, like a lot of... more
    • ...And have an interesting websiteThoth, Fri Jan 11 2:59pm
      A while ago, I shared The Digital Antiquarian , a website about the history of digital culture and interactive entertainment that I profoundly enjoyed. Now, the creator of that website has made a... more
    • Hey, Stanley!Iximaz, Fri Jan 11 1:07pm
      I shared that with my guildmates and people lost their minds. He'll be a great addition to the game. :D
    • Twistey's Trivia: The Original Ultima Thule.twistedwindowpane, Fri Jan 11 9:59am
      That space rock Ultima Thule, as well as Thule the car-mounted storage box company, is named after a fictional, far-northern lost civilization. Originally named Hyperborea, meaning "above the north... more
      • The Greeks had some odd ideas.Huinesoron, Fri Jan 11 10:45am
        I'd not heard of the jelly-amalgam, but it sounds like their kind of thing - a place where all the elements become one, etc etc. Hyperborea also makes a famous appearance in the George MacDonald... more
        • The jelly-amalgam thing, I got from RationalWiki...twistedwindowpane, Mon Jan 14 9:36am
 ...and they cited the Wikipedia article for Thule: Oddly enough, RW combines the two fictional places, whereas Wikipedia... more
    • Science, and I'm still alive!Thoth, Fri Jan 11 8:50am
      Woo, Francium. ...I ran out of things to say about this, so let me talk about something else. Here in the PPC, we have a large number of MMO fans. Personally, MMOs make me feel like I'm killing... more
      • I prefer Sword Art Online myself.the Irish Samurai, Mon Jan 21 1:58pm
        Although I do think Log Horizon is the more interesting setting to think about the implications of, I just find SAO more entertaining to watch. Funnily enough, the 'Aliceization' story arc (the... more
      • Seconding the rec for Log Horizon!Neshomeh, Mon Jan 14 4:37pm
        Phobos and I are nearly finished with the second season, so while I have to say season two is not as good as season one, it's still full of a lot of the same elements that make season one really... more
        • If you guys like Log Horizon...the Irish Samurai, Mon Jan 21 1:51pm
          ... then I can also recommend Grimgar: Ashes and Illusions . It's a short anime, only 12 episodes I think, and setting wise it sort of falls between Sword Art Online and Log Horizon - it's set in a... more
        • Aaaand finished.Neshomeh, Mon Jan 14 10:35pm
          It was a long road to the end of season two, but we've ended on just the right note to get me jazzed for season three. Bring it on! ~Neshomeh
    • Plug: Pieguy did some writing!doctorlit, Fri Jan 11 7:17am
      Our good old friend Pieguy has published a thing! He wrote the practice adventure scenario in the quickstart guide for a new tabletop game called Relics: A Game of Angels . It's only available in PDF ... more
      • Pieguy!Huinesoron, Fri Jan 11 7:34am
        I don't even have the knowledge to figure out what I'd need to know to understand this, but despite never really talking to him, I fondly remember Pieguy for inventing the TCDA . (Ugh, and the... more
        • I can dig up my absolute-to-relative link conversion regexes so that you don't have to change the links by hand. Assuming, of course, that the site currently uses absolute links...
          • You can probably assume...Huinesoron, Fri Jan 11 8:15am
            ... that it uses literally everything, whether absolute, relative, or constructed-on-the-fly-by-Javascript. (I admit I'm not positive of that, but I wouldn't surprise me.) A solution, however, is... more
            • Yey, solutions!Thoth, Fri Jan 11 8:51am
              But yes. If you DO want that, let me know. I can help.
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